Cardiff confirmed for Ashes opener

Blackpool Citizen: The SWALEC Stadium in Cardiff will stage the opening Ashes Test in July 2015 The SWALEC Stadium in Cardiff will stage the opening Ashes Test in July 2015

England's bid to regain the Ashes in 2015 will begin in Cardiff after the England and Wales Cricket Board revealed the full itinerary for Australia's tour next summer.

England surrendered the urn in humiliating fashion Down Under last winter as they succumbed to a 5-0 defeat which saw head coach Andy Flower's spell at the helm come to an end.

Peter Moores has since been appointed as his replacement and his first Ashes Test in charge will take place at the SWALEC Stadium beginning on July 8.

Further Tests will follow at Lord's (July 16), Edgbaston (July 29) and Trent Bridge (August 6) before the final Test of the summer at the Oval, beginning on August 20.

The selection of Cardiff for the opener mirrors 2009 when James Anderson and Monty Panesar held on to secure a draw in the first Test as England went on to win the series 2-1 and regain the urn after a 5-0 drubbing in 2006/07, setting England on their way to the first of three Ashes successes in a row until last winter's defeat.

Before the Ashes begin, England will face New Zealand with the first Test of the summer beginning at Lord's on May 21 and the second, starting on May 29, taking place at Headingley.

''Next summer promises to be a hugely exciting international season with England's bid to regain the Ashes set to be one of the major highlights of the sporting year,'' said ECB chief executive David Collier.

''We're also delighted to be hosting New Zealand again across all three formats of the international game and would like to thank all those county and international venues who will be hosting our touring teams next year.''

Australia's first action of the summer will take place at Canterbury on June 25 as they face Kent in a four-day game, and they will also take on Essex before the first Test.

Michael Clarke's men will then face Derbyshire between the second and third Tests and Northamptonshire between the fourth and fifth before beginning the limited-overs portion of their trip with a one-day international against Ireland on August 27.

Ireland will also play an ODI against England, although the date for that is yet to be confirmed, and Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom was delighted at securing the two games.

''We are thrilled to welcome both England and Australia to Ireland once again,'' he said.

''Although opportunities to find space in the Future Tours Programme are rare against the world's leading teams, it is apparent that Cricket Australia and the ECB are committed to ensuring that the top Associates, like Scotland and Ireland, have a chance to test themselves against the best and to help us to improve.''

Australia and England will than play a single Twenty20 game in Cardiff on August 31 before the five-match one-day series takes place with matches at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton (September 3), Lord's (September 5), Old Trafford (September 8), Headingley (September 11) and Old Trafford once more (September 13).

New Zealand will start their trip with a four-day match at Taunton against Somerset beginning on May 8 before they travel to New Road to face Worcestershire.

Following the Tests, the Black Caps take on Leicestershire in a 50-over game on June 6 before ODIs against England at Edgbaston (June 9), the Oval (June 12), the Ageas Bowl (June 14), Trent Bridge (June 17) and Chester-le-Street (June 20).

New Zealand will conclude their tour with a Twenty20 game against England at Old Trafford on June 23.

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